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Creating ConsumersHome Economists in Twentieth-Century America$
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Carolyn M. Goldstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835531

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807872383_goldstein

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(p.295) Epilogue
Creating Consumers

Carolyn M. Goldstein

University of North Carolina Press

In the 1920s and 1930s, home economists succeeded in finding a series of professional niches in government and business that provided opportunities for them to assert themselves as mediators in the marketplace for consumer products. In the last century, home economists served as a leading group of experts shaping modern American consumer society. This book demonstrates that home economists emerged as a diverse social group that shaped popular ideas about consumer products. By unmasking the historical presence of home economists in the marketplace, the book shows that ways in which they influenced the discourses and experiences of consumption in twentieth-century America. This conclusion argues that while home economists' identifiable role in American consumer culture has all but disappeared in the twenty-first century, their legacy as mediators in the historical development of American consumer society persists today, especially with regard to the notion of professional and scientific expertise.

Keywords:   home economists, mediators, marketplace, consumer products, consumer society, consumption

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